In April 2022 Ocean Rebellion dumped dead crabs in front of the UK government environment office DEFRA. We did this to highlight the mass die-off of marine life on the North East coast, a die-off caused by the illegal dredging of Teeside by the Teesworks team delivering part one of Westminster governments crack-pot ‘Freeport’ scheme – part of their ‘levelling up’ brainstorm.
Since then we’ve seen a growing list of Secretaries of State for the Environment pass before our eyes. First there was George ‘Useless’ Eustice, then Ranil Jayawardena and now Thérèse Coffey. It’s a horror show, Dr Who like-regeneration, which has seen each incumbent becoming more environmentally irresponsible than the last (Sorry we missed you out, Ranil, from the line up in our picture above, you only managed a month in the post and Jacob Rees-Mogg was calling the shots on behalf of big business).
Unsurprisingly none of the Secretaries of State have commented on the die-off. This is less surprising when you understand the illegality of what was done in Teeside. The dredging of Teeside was described as ‘routine maintenance’ by Teesport, but removing and dumping over a quarter of a million tonnes of sediment from the mouth of the River Tees into the sea, approximately three miles offshore, is not routine and is illegal without the careful sediment management described by the OSPAR agreement of 2014 (part of the OSLO agreement of 1974)
Plus not properly testing the sediment beforehand is completely reckless – if this had been done the dangerous levels of Pyridine in the sediment would have been flagged and the dredging stopped.
Since April the Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs has been desperately covering up the die-off to keep the government ‘Freeport’ policy on track.
But finally the truth is appearing:
You can read Ocean Rebellions original report on our intervention at DEFRA here.
We know most of the civil servants involved in the cover up are innocent, they’re gagged by their ministers. It’s not their fault – they didn’t choose the government that’s failing us, and nor did the British public (but that’s another story).
We, at Ocean Rebellion, would like to offer the civil servants at DEFRA the opportunity to speak out, completely anonymously, by adding their voice to this website. You can contact us about ‘Freeports’, the North East die-off, or any other matter related to the Ocean by replying below, all messages are sent securely via proton mail.
The fate of the Ocean depends on us all.
Our interventions depend on your support.